A $94 million online health insurance system has some Illinois state employees and agencies flummoxed and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration scampering to rid the system of bugs, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
State workers have complained of a gummed-up system that has rejected coverage without notice and inexplicably stopped payroll deductions. The head of the Teachers Retirement System, where 106,000 retirees count on the program for insurance, points out that neither the specifications nor the system accounted for Medicare coverage.
Georgia-based Morneau Shepell was the only company to respond to a quickly executed November 2015 request from the Department of Central Management Services to design a web-based portal for managing health insurance options. The request was posted for only 26 days. Documents show CMS staff members were told to proceed without following guidelines for ensuring minority-owned business participation.
The state has paid the company $375,000 but owes $9.4 million for more than a year’s work. CMS hasn’t submitted a voucher for the entire fiscal year that ends June 30. Officials said that’s because of the two-year stalemate over a state budget that’s resulted in too little money to cover state bills. But from four accounts designated for covering Morneau Shepell costs, CMS has paid more than $29 million for other bills in fiscal 2017.
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